Thursday, January 28, 2016

The Great Australian Dream

As the nation stopped on Tuesday to celebrate Australia Day, I couldn't help but think how lucky we are at Team Toop to be in the business of helping people achieve 'The Great Australian Dream'... home ownership. 

We are so lucky to live in Australia for so many reasons. I spent Australia Day at one of our amazing local beaches, Encounter Bay, swimming with wild dolphins! 

Driving along the foreshore, and admiring one of our current listings on this strip, an amazing modern beachfront townhouse, I thought about how fortunate we are in Australia, and in particular South Australia to have such beautiful properties at such relatively affordable prices. 

Unlike many countries in the world, we still have the ability to own our homes outright. 

Countries such as China, UK and India sell properties as 'Fixed Leasehold' on Crown land, which means the value of a property is not just determined by its characteristics and location, but impacted by how long the current leasehold has left too.

As an Australian, the idea of buying a house and knowing that it isn't 100% yours is something I struggled with when I lived in London. I had experience in selling leasehold property, and it helped me to realise how lucky Australians are to be able to pass property down through generations. 

With interest rates still at such great rates, and with Adelaide tipped for 2016 to be one of the most attractive and stable property markets in Australia, why not go after the Great Australian Dream? 

We are seeing that many of us already are! In the first two weeks of January, Toop&Toop experienced 148% more buyers in the market than the whole month of December. Over the last two weeks we have had 2,134 groups out at Toop&Toop inspections, which is an incredible number of people looking at property right now! 

We have over 100 inspections this weekend, 18 auctions this week and another 19 auctions scheduled for February already! 

If you are currently looking for your next home, our ToopVault can help you get an edge on the competition. The ToopVault holds all of our properties while they are getting ready for sale, and allows ToopVIP Members to view these before they hit the market. It is easy to join. Just visit and click on the 'become a ToopVIP' button.

Having Australia Day on a Tuesday was a great chance to press pause on a busy week and reflect on just how lucky we are to have the ability to realise our dreams and own our own piece of this great country. Personally, I feel fortunate to be working in an industry where I get to help people achieve their dreams every day! 

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Airbnb… Friend or Foe?

Airbnb... Friend or Foe?

If you have recently booked yourself a holiday home, there's a strong chance that you used an online booking website such as Airbnb or Stayz.

These online systems are game-changers. They allow you to book your holiday accommodation directly and live like a local, all at a fraction of the cost of a hotel stay.

As a property owner you can now rent out your home to short-term guests with the potential to double the returns available, compared to traditional long-term rental clients.

However with over 50 million users, people around the globe are now experiencing what it is like when the shoe is on the other foot... rather than visiting holiday destinations themselves, they have visitors next door. Disturbances such as late night parties and new guests frequently coming and going, are starting to cause angst in many neighbourhoods across the world.

This type of 'industry disruption' (such as Uber) is happening across all industries and often the law can take time to catch up. According to a report by New York's Attorney General, a staggering 72 percent of Airbnb bookings between 2010 and June 2014 in New York City appear to have violated the permanent residential laws.

But things are starting to change...

Mid last year, a New York City Civil Court judge handed down the first known decision awarding an eviction based on a tenant's illegal renting 
via Airbnb.

So with the growing interest in these websites, what do you need to know?

You are entering the space of 'short term' rentals and you may be breaching various regulations without even knowing.

If you decide to rent out your property for less than three months, you may be contravening local laws (such as strata by-laws or zoning stipulations) and you could face hefty fines. Tenants must also seek written consent from their landlord should they wish to sublet their property otherwise they'll be in breach of the obligations under their lease.

In saying that, there are huge benefits to these websites, and we expect to see holiday rentals evolve noticeably over the next 12-24 months as more and more property owners consider this option.

Should that be you, before making those few clicks, we suggest to:

- check with your insurer that you are covered for short term rentals

- look into the local laws relating to the planning use in your area

- ensure items such as your smoke alarms, appliances, gas connections and pool are certified and meet compliance standards.

As we head into 2016 and beyond, we see that non-traditional providers will continue to enter a range of markets, providing lower cost options to consumers. It truly is an exciting time but be sure to do your homework and make Airbnb your friend... not foe.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Experts have South Australia tipped as a winner in 2016!

2016 has started off strong in our property world! Last weekend was the first official weekend of open inspections and it kicked off with a solid attendance across the board.

Team Toop had 357 groups through our inspections and 24 new property releases this week! With buyers circulating and brand new stock hitting the market, we expect to see even more buyer groups out and about this weekend.

Nationwide the big real estate questions circulating at the moment are: What are the predictions for our property market? Where are the hot spots this year? Has our market peaked? 

The fantastic news for South Australia is that the experts have predicted that this year we are likely to see the property market even out, and become more consistent nationally. The large growth that Sydney and Melbourne saw last year is predicted to not just halt, but fall in line with the rest of the states. 

Cameron Kusher, Senior Research Analyst at CoreLogic RP Data, has predicted that while Sydney and Melbourne's growth is expected to either decline or slow, South Australia is likely to continue building on last year's 3.2% growth and is anticipating a steady moderate increase around 2.5% this year!  

This is fantastic news for sellers and buyers and provides great confidence when making such significant decisions. On the ground our team is seeing signs of confident buyers with strong activity and sale results already this year. 

Our market is being recognised nationally for our great investment conditions. Suzannah mentioned the North West last week, and we are also finding that holiday homes are taking off this year. With everything that has been going on in the world, Australians are wanting to holiday locally. 

Combining these predictions with digital disruptors such as Airbandb, who are making it very easy for people to rent their homes as casual short term letting - holiday homes are a market looking to go to another level again in terms of growth this year. 

Locally, we are already seeing this starting to happen in key holiday areas. RP Data recorded properties on Hindmarsh Island had a huge growth of 11.5% in the last 12 months and 22.5% in the last three years! In 2015 Goolwa North property prices rose 7.7% and Encounter Bay grew by 4.4%! 

It is exciting to see South Australia in the spotlight nationally for the potential our property has to offer! With the market off and running, now is a great time to get into the real estate market and make the most of our local opportunities!

Thursday, January 07, 2016

A new year, a new-look city. We are excited for 2016!

We have launched into the New Year and it is an exciting time for real estate in Adelaide. The streets are buzzing, people are out and about and our city has been transformed in the past 12 months. New bars, restaurants, apartment high-rises - there's plenty happening right now in our own backyard!

Chatting with friends over the Christmas break, the 'new look' Adelaide is a popular conversation, sharing stories about our new favourite spots to eat or beaches to visit. What I found most fascinating though was comments about how often you now get stopped in Rundle Mall to take photographs of those visiting our beautiful city. This is becoming more and more common. Adelaide is becoming a destination of choice worldwide and we expect this to contribute favourably to our housing prices. Norwood alone continues to make headlines, reporting a median house price growth of 60% over 12 months. (REISA September, 2015)

Another really good indication of this growth is that we are currently looking for 150 properties here in Adelaide for our interstate clients! Adelaide is their capital city of choice with affordability as the key driver behind the attractive returns. This is consistent with Dr Andrew Wilson, the senior economist at Domain Group, and his recap in the February issue of the Australian Property Investor Magazine. He notes Adelaide's housing market in 2015 was 'solid' and 'produced a typically steady and resilient performance over 2015' despite Adelaide's unemployment rate reaching the highest across all capital cities. 

Research also tells us that in September 2015 alone we saw an increase of 18.2% in investor activity in Adelaide. This is a staggering number. (Yvette Burton - Australian Property Investor Magazine February, 2016 issue)

Looking ahead to 2016, we expect to see the north west corner of the city evolve further as a stand out pocket of real estate. We expect demand to only increase when the hospital is completed as coffee shops and cafs also begin migrating to that corner of the city. 

It's been a strong start to the year with our team seeing solid numbers of people through our opens this past week. We are also finding property that has been on the market for some time spring to life with upwards of 10 groups wanting to get through in this festive period. We are seeing this activity happen across both sales and rental markets, with many properties being leased after the first open inspection, and tenants looking to secure property three weeks early to ensure they don't miss out.

We love real estate, we love our city and we are excited about Adelaide property in 2016. 

Happy New Year from everyone at Team Toop! 

Suzannah Toop